The 2011 NFL draft is in the books, and it's time to take a look back at how the Big Ten fared in the selections. In case you missed it, check out my breakdown of the six Big Ten players who heard their names called in the first round.
All in all, 29 Big Ten players were drafted this year. New Big Ten member Nebraska had seven selections.
Let's start off with a rundown of the picks. I'll have some quick thoughts after each round.
Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt, Houston, No. 11 overall
Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan, Washington, No. 16 overall
Illinois DT Corey Liuget, San Diego, No. 18 overall
Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn, Tampa Bay, No. 20 overall
Wisconsin LT Gabe Carimi, Chicago, No. 29 overall
Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward, Pittsburgh, No. 31
Quick thoughts: The Big Ten had its largest first-round output since 2007, and several players look like good fits for their teams. Chicago had to be thrilled Carimi was still available, and San Diego felt the same about Liuget, projected by many as a top-15 pick. Kerrigan likely needs to contribute immediately for the Redskins, while Clayborn and Heyward enter situations where they can ease into the transition.
Wisconsin TE Lance Kendricks, St. Louis, No. 47 overall
Penn State G Stefen Wisniewski, Oakland, No. 48 overall
Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure, Detroit, No. 57 overall
Michigan LB Jonas Mouton, San Diego, No. 61 overall
Quick thoughts: Mouton's selection was a surprise for many folks, but it's a testament to a good player who impressed the scouts despite playing for a lousy defense in 2010. Wisniewski enters a good fit in Oakland, where his uncle, Steve, is an assistant offensive line coach. I really like Leshoure in Detroit, where he'll enter a competitive situation at running back.
Illinois LB Martez Wilson, New Orleans, No. 72 overall
Wisconsin G John Moffitt, Seattle, No. 75 overall
Quick thoughts: Wilson, who entered the draft after his junior season, might have been a bit disappointed to fall to the third round. But he enters a good situation in New Orleans and should have some time to develop.
Iowa DL Christian Ballard, Minnesota, No. 106 overall
Ohio State CB Chimdi Chekwa, Oakland, No. 113 overall
Indiana WR Tandon Doss, Baltimore, No. 123 overall
Quick thoughts: Ballard reportedly tested positive for marijuana use and likely paid a price as he dropped down at least a round. Still, the Iowa standout should help the Vikings early in his career. I really like the Doss fit in Baltimore, which can use more playmakers at receiver. It'll be interesting to see how quickly Chekwa sees the field in Oakland.
Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi, Kansas City, No. 135 overall
Iowa DE Karl Klug, Tennessee, No. 142 overall
Ohio State S Jermale Hines, St. Louis, No. 158 overall
Iowa G Julian Vandervelde, Philadelphia, No. 161 overall
Quick thoughts: What a round for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Although Stanzi waited a little longer than expected, he joins a team in Kansas City that has a lot of connections to the New England Patriots, the squad many thought would draft the Iowa quarterback. Klug is a solid player who can play either line position. I'll be interested to see how he fares with the Titans.
Penn State RB Evan Royster, Washington, No. 177 overall
Michigan State LB Greg Jones, New York Giants, No. 185 overall
Michigan State CB Chris L. Rucker, Indianapolis, No. 188 overall
Ohio State LB Brian Rolle, Philadelphia, No. 193 overall
Iowa S Tyler Sash, New York Giants, No. 198 overall
Ohio State LB Ross Homan, Minnesota, No. 200 overall
Michigan G Stephen Schilling, San Diego, No. 201 overall
Quick thoughts: This marked the Big Ten's biggest round as seven players heard their names called. Jones, the former Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, went a little later than expected, and Sash also dropped down a bit after entering the draft after his junior season. Homan, who missed some time last season with a foot injury, could end up being an excellent addition for the Vikings. Really like that pick.
Illinois LB Nate Bussey, New Orleans, No. 243 overall
Wisconsin G/C Bill Nagy, Dallas, No. 252 overall
Quick thoughts: While I was surprised several other Big Ten players didn't get drafted, both Bussey and Nagy are deserving. Both players played integral roles in their teams' success last fall, and both were overshadowed by other draftees (Liuget and Wilson for Bussey, Carimi and Moffitt for Nagy).
Husker fans, I didn't forget you or your team. Nebraska actually had more draft picks (7) than any Big Ten team, and here they are.
CB Prince Amukamara, New York Giants, No. 19 overall (first round)
RB Roy Helu Jr., Washington, No. 104 overall (fourth round)
K Alex Henery, Philadelphia, No. 120 overall (fourth round)
DB Dejon Gomes, Washington, No. 146 overall (fifth round)
WR Niles Paul, Washington, No. 155 overall (fifth round)
OT Keith Williams, Pittsburgh, No. 196 overall (sixth round)
DB Eric Hagg, Cleveland, No. 248 overall (seventh round)
Quick thoughts: Think there might be a few "Husker Power!" chants at Redskins games this season? The Mike Shanahan-Bo Pelini connection likely played a role in the three Nebraska players heading to the nation's capital. Henery soon will succeed David Akers in Philadelphia, and the Giants had to thrilled that Amukamara still was on the board at No. 19.
Big Ten picks by team
Nebraska: 7 (players competed in the Big 12)
Ohio State: 5
Wisconsin: 5 (four picks in first three rounds)
Michigan State: 2
Penn State: 2
By position (excluding Nebraska)
Nebraska had three defensive backs, a running back, an offensive lineman, a wide receiver and a kicker drafted.
Quite a few Big Ten players didn't hear their names called during the weekend, and they'll enter the shaky world of free agency. I was absolutely stunned no one drafted Ohio State's Dane Sanzenbacher. He was the Big Ten's top receiver last fall and brings a combination of football IQ and toughness that should appeal to football people not overly obsessed with measurables.
Wisconsin running back John Clay was the Big Ten's only non-senior who entered the draft but didn't get selected. Clay struggles with weight and his ankle problems might have contributed to him slipping through the draft.
Other Big Ten draft snubs include: Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien, Ohio State guard Justin Boren, Iowa tight end Allen Reisner and Purdue receiver Keith Smith. Nebraska's Pierre Allen and Ricky Henry also will go the free-agent route.